Field Trip Friday: NYC Mel and the US Open

US Open 2013 Arthur Ashe Stadium

Welcome to the latest feature on my blog:

Field Trip Friday.

I spent a good portion of the month of August putting in long hours on a couple of work projects. While it was great and productive, and blah, blah, blah, at the end of the month I realized there were way too many days when I didn’t leave the house (or shower, or change out of my pajamas, but let’s not talk about that now). If not leaving my house is the name of the game, then I should probably be living somewhere, oh, I don’t know, cheaper?

So I decided I needed a little motivation/reminder to make sure I am getting off my couch, out of my pajamas, and really experiencing the great things New York City has to offer. So starting today, I will be doing a Field Trip Friday post every Thursday.


Just checking to see if you were paying attention. So here’s the real schedule:

Field Trip Friday = Every Friday

and . . . AND . . . wait for it . . .

Tourist Tuesday = Every Tuesday!

That’s right, I’m committing to not one, but two, count them, TWO posts a week! It’s quite the stretch from my standard one every (other) month. If you’d like to thank me with gifts of chocolate, money, or bacon (mmmmm, bacon), let me know and I’ll happily send you my mailing address. (No Anthrax or brussel sprouts, please.) So without further ado, here is the first installment of

Field Trip Friday: NYC Mel and the US Open

US Open Logo
As an American Express cardholder, I had the chance in May to buy pre-sale tickets to the U.S. Open. I don’t really follow tennis, but it sounded like a fun adventure I would LOVE (Get it? Love? Just a little tennis humor. Ok, I promise, that’s it.), so I picked a random day (I went for August 27th, the second day of the tournament), bought four tickets, and then mostly forgot about them. When August rolled around, I started hearing people talk about the tournament, and I started to realize this was kind of a big deal.

US Open 2013 Adventure Arthur Ashe Stadium

If I had been thinking more clearly, I probably would have bought tickets for a date later in the tournament, but it all worked out just fine because we got to see

Novak Djokovic (winner) vs. Ričardas Berankis


Victoria Azarenka (winner)  vs. Dinah Pfizenmaier

Not to spoil the end of the tournament (that ended last week), but both Novak and Victoria went on to finish second in the singles division. So basically we saw two of the best players. Yep, I totally planned it that way.

After a slight delay getting into the stadium (apparently you can’t take computers in, and since I had just come from a coffee shop work meeting, I had to trek back up a hill to check my bag—despite my best efforts to hide the computer in some notebooks.) Once we got inside, I stopped to take this amazing shot in front of the photo backdrop

US Open 2013 Tennis Pose

Uh, yeah, it looks like it’s time I re-enrolled in tennis lessons. I took them last summer with my friend Tiffany. They were tons of fun, but clearly they had no lasting impact on my ability to strike-a-pose, backhand style.

Our next stop was, of course, for food.

US Open 2013 Chicken and Fries

But then, it was off to the races . . . er, matches. My roommate and I got separated from our other two friends. Apparently we are incapable of reading a ticket, because we ended up two sections over from where we were supposed to be. No matter, they were better seats anyway.

US Open 2013 Arthur Ashe Stadium

Even from almost the tip top of the stadium, the view was great, and fairly spectacular. What you can’t see in this picture is that in the distance we even had a view of the Empire State Building in the distance.


After the first match (game? set? round?), whatever . . . a lot of people left when they guys were done playing. So while we were waiting for the women’s match to start, we decided to sneak into some closer seats. The security guards, on the other hand, decided they weren’t too keen on that plan. We non-chalantly walked past right as one of them was bragging, “People who belong here get in, and people who don’t, don’t.”

Bad timing.

We walked in like we knew where we were going (every movie I’ve ever watched has told me that is the key to getting into places you don’t belong), and sat down. They guy I sat next to was genuinely surprised to see someone sitting by him, which totally didn’t help our cause, and we were immediately approached, asked for our tickets (I had legitimately dropped mine and didn’t have it), and then quickly escorted out and asked to return to “peasant’s row.”

Just to stick it to “The Man,” we sat in better seats in our section.

Yeah! Take that!

Melanie at the 2013 US Open

I did get salt poured in my wound later when I tried to meet up with a friend and he said, “I don’t know where we are, we snuck down somewhere lower before the women started playing.”

I’ll take consolation in the fact that I helped the security guard look cool in front of all his security guard buddies that night.

Tennis fan or not, if you ever get the chance to go to the US Open, I highly recommend it. The lights, the people, the open air court, the city in the distance, it was all a bit magical.

Oh, and if you do get a chance to go, maybe don’t wear bright pink pants. I hear they make it easier for security guards to spot people who trying to sneak into sections where they don’t belong.


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